Soccer tourney canceled

An international under-15 soccer tournament that was slated to be the biggest sporting event the Cayman Islands ever hosted, has been postponed amid the continuing fallout from allegations of corruption within the sport’s world governing body.

The tournament, featuring 37 teams including Brazil and England, was scheduled to take place in the Cayman Islands in August, with some preliminary games to be played in Jamaica.

CONCACAF, the association responsible for football in Central America and the Caribbean, announced Sunday evening that the event had been postponed “until further notice.”

The tournament, first held in the Cayman Islands in 2013, was the brainchild of former CONCACAF president Jeff Webb. The original tournament featured 22 teams from the region and was hailed as a success for sports tourism, attracting an estimated 3,000 visitors to the island.

Webb was arrested in Switzerland on May 27 and has since been provisionally dismissed from his role as president of CONCACAF. The association’s vice-president Eduardo Li, of Costa Rica, who was arrested the same day as Webb, was also provisionally dismissed, while general secretary Enrique Sanz was placed on a “leave of absence.”

In a short release, which made no mention of the arrests, CONCACAF said its new acting executive committee had decided to postpone the tournament.

“In the short term, efforts will be dedicated in full to the successful delivery of the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015, in addition to other championships which also qualify CONCACAF teams to worldwide-level tournaments, such as the men’s Olympic qualifying championship and the Under-20 women’s championship, to be played as scheduled later in 2015.

“CONCACAF is committed to restoring a full slate of complementary youth development tournaments in the shortest possible time. This includes our objective to re-schedule the under-15 boys’ championship at the soonest opportunity.”

The association declined to comment further on the tournament or if it would be hosted in the Cayman Islands once it is rescheduled.

Renard Moxam, director of Cayman’s national soccer teams said he was disappointed but understood the decision given the recent upheaval within CONCACAF.

“It is disappointing to the players firstly and to the coaching staff that have been preparing this group of young boys for the tournament. If I am honest I am not that surprised, given what has happened in the last week or 10 days.”

He said he hoped Cayman would be in a position to host future editions of the tournament.

Cayman Islands Football Association President Bruce Blake did not respond to calls from the Compass on Monday. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell was unavailable to comment.

Speaking about the tournament in April, Webb said, “This is but one example of how we are using football to attract opportunities for our youth, and utilizing the power of the game to inspire a new generation.”


  1. I would agree that this is very disapointing news. The event would not only be a wonderful opportunity for local families to watch top rated international soccer teams compete, but also a significant event to increase tourism to Cayman and Jamaica.

    I certainly hope the CIFA and CONCACAF will put the misconduct and illegalities of a few key directors aside and get back to focusing on the sport and its impact on youth players worldwide. By giving kids and families academic and athletic opportunities will help them stay focused and out of trouble. Mr. Blake, please work on trying to repair and rebuild the relations with CONCACAF if not for Cayman, for the kids.

  2. I know that we have to wait and see if Webb is guilty or innocent, but can we see now what kind of damage that Webb and corruption has done for the Islands. Can we estimate how much revenue to the Islands that is lost in just the 2015 game that was to happen in Cayman big $$, then multiply that by say 3 more big games that could have been hosted in Cayman if there was not corruption involved, and look at what kids have lost because of this corruption, I can’t comment on who else or what else would suffer from this corruption scandal.

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